We had previously spent several weeks in Amsterdam and so chose to do the city on our own this time. With its rich history, wonderful architecture, unique modern buildings, many museums and other tourist attractions, this is a wonderful city to spend days in. Walk around the Dam Square area, visit the Rembrant or Anna Frank House, Madam Tousades Wax Museum, the Van Gogh Museum or Amsterdam Historical Museum, take a canal cruise or walk through the Red Light district. Getting around is easy, everyone speaks English, is friendly and happy to help guide you.
Renting a car and driving is easy, other then dealing with a canal every block or or two. On the outskirts, visits to the villages of Edam, Volendam and Marken are some of our favorites.
We did a self guided walking tour of Antwerp on our own. The city is simply fascinating with wonderful buildings, cathedrals and museums. Antwerp is a chocolate lovers paradise with shop after shop to choose from.
Our visit to the International Horticulture Show, Floriade 2012 was amazing and one of the highlights of our trip. Over 168 acres of lawns, gardens, shows, arenas, amphitheaters, entertainment and buildings showcasing horticulture from around the world. Plan on a full day so you can see everything.
One of our favorite tours of the cruise. Picturesque and full of history does not even begin to describe the town or the cathedral. The whole place is so steeped in history that stepping into any shop or pub is like going back to life hunderds of years ago.
Leeds Castle Rating:
A smaller castle with a great history. The guides on the tour and at the castle were wonderful. Pictures that could easily come from a post card abound at the castle and the grounds.
Thames River Cruise Rating:
Having been to London several times, we did a river cruise from Greenwich pier down to the Eye and back. It's a great way to see the sights in London at a very reasonable price. You can get off and visit individual sights, most of which are only a short walk from the piers, then climb back on the next boat. Don't misses for visiting are the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and a country pub (not one in London). Oh, and don't forget a ride on the Tube if you've never done so.
We did the Paris bus tour and lunch cruise on the Seine. Two minutes into the city and it's not hard to understand why everone falls in love with Paris. Every street brings new oowwws and ahhhhs and is more amazing then the last. There is simply too much to try and pick a favorite area, building or sight so plan on spending as much time as you can. No matter how much time you spend, it will not be enough!